The TEDI BEAR Children’s Advocacy Center in Greenville, an East Carolina University-supported facility, has received a three-year grant totaling $720,000 from the Duke Endowment.
The TEDI BEAR grant was among 118 health care organizations awarded nearly $30 million by the Charlotte-based foundation this year.
The money, to be given in installments of $240,000 this year and in each of the next two years, will fund the expansion of forensic assessments and the establishment of multi-disciplinary teams in as many as 12 counties to assess children who might be victims of physical or sexual abuse. The money will also fund the hiring of a coordinator to oversee the teams. Center leaders will work with local agencies to determine where the teams will be based.
“We are very thankful for the Duke Endowment grant and the continued support of the Brody School of Medicine and Pitt County Memorial Hospital,” said Dr. Elaine Cabinum-Foeller, medical director of the center and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.
“We are one of the regional centers in eastern North Carolina, and this will certainly help us see children more quickly and lessen the trauma to children and their families.”
At the TEDI BEAR Center, medical and mental health professionals, social workers and others work with children, their families, law enforcement and the local Department of Social Services to assess children who’ve allegedly been sexually abused and physically abused. Without the TEDI BEAR Center, Cabinum-Foeller said, children likely would be seen in a busy hospital emergency department, then taken to a police station for an interview with law enforcement agents, then perhaps to a social services office for more interviews and questions. The center provides these services in one location that is focused on the needs of the children.
“At TEDI BEAR, we try to stay child-focused and child-friendly,” Cabinum-Foeller said. “We try to see them quickly and minimize the number of people they see.”
The center opened in 1991 with leadership from the Brody School of Medicine and is also supported by PCMH, other state and local agencies and with contributions from groups and individuals. It is one of only two such centers in eastern North Carolina. More than 5,000 children have been seen at the center since it opened.
TEDI BEAR stands for Tender Evaluation, Diagnosis and Intervention for a Better Abuse Response.
The Duke Endowment is a private foundation established in 1924. Its mission is to serve the people of North and South Carolina by supporting selected programs of higher education, health care, children’s welfare and spiritual life.